Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 4 Hansard (21 April) . . Page.. 1063 ..
MS CARNELL: Yes, a good range of product generally, potentially worth looking at. But at this stage, Mr Speaker, it is in its early days. We will look at it seriously. This Assembly will be the final arbiter on whether we go ahead or do not go ahead. If it turns out that a merger does stack up financially for ACTEW and for the ACT, it will come to this Assembly for, I am sure, fulsome debate.
MR QUINLAN: I have a supplementary question. Will the Chief Minister concede that the administration of water and sewerage services is more closely related or akin to the administration of land rates and land rent than to electricity? Will she accept that the database for water and sewerage administration is more highly correlated to that for land rating than for electricity billing? Will she ensure that this consideration is factored into the merger deliberations - or is it still a dash for cash?
MS CARNELL: No, I do not accept that at all. In fact, I think it is rubbish, quite simply. Mr Speaker, I think that Tu Pham, our revenue commissioner, would be very unhappy about having to run water and sewerage along with rates. The only thing that they may have in common is a database, Mr Speaker. Obviously, things like meters, maintenance approaches and capital works approaches have totally escaped Mr Quinlan. The only thing that they may have in common is a database, but even that is not the case, Mr Speaker, because, as everybody but Mr Quinlan probably knows, ACTEW does provide water - and I think sewerage as well, but certainly water - across the border to an area that we do not rate at all. In fact, as I think others also would be aware, negotiations are in their early phase at this stage on whether ACTEW should buy the electricity and sewerage entities in Queanbeyan. Again, Mr Speaker, that shows that ACTEW as a multi-utility works very well - water and sewerage, along with electricity and a capacity to move over the border. If Tu Pham were running it, somebody whose job is purely to collect revenue - land rates and so on in the ACT - that would be a significantly difficult thing to do.
MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, my question also is to the Chief Minister and it relates to earlier questions that I have asked the Chief Minister in connection with marketing costs of Bruce Stadium. I thank the Chief Minister for responding to a series of questions that she took on notice on 25 March. The answers, however, raise some further questions. I note that an amount of $774,000 has been paid for direct marketing costs. According to the Chief Minister's answer, that covers five different categories of payment - marketing materials, advertising, marketing campaign and design, administration and professional services. Chief Minister, your answer is silent on to whom that payment was made. Could you tell me to whom the $774,000 has been paid and from whose bank account the payments are being made? Secondly, what proportion of the $774,000 represents payments for professional services, for which half a million dollars has been budgeted?
MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I thought I was quite clear in my answer to Mr Kaine, but I am sorry if I was not. The $774,000 has been paid to NVM because NVM are the people that won the contract to provide the marketing for the stadium. We did go out to tender for the marketing rights for the stadium. The selection panel included